If you just want to know what twitterpated means, please click here. But if you have a minute or two, there’s a fun story leading up to that delightful word.
Over the weekend, U.S. President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev gave a joint press conference. Obama said of the Russian President, “During his visit to Silicon Valley this week, he visited the headquarter of Twitters, where he opened his own account. I have one as well, so we may be able to finally throw away those “red phones” that have been sitting around for so long. ”
Two items in this quotation are worth mentioning: Obama’s Twitter gaffe, and the reference to “red phones.”
The red phones in question comprise the famous hot line between the White House and the Kremlin, installed after the Cuban Missile Crisis, which many analysts believed was exacerbated due to the difficulty of communication between world leaders. The lovely rotary phones that typically represent the Washington-Moscow hotline are emblematic of the Cold War and the transformation in relations between the two quasi-superpowers.
As for President Obama’s incorrect rendering of Twitter, how many different conclusions can we draw from it?
1. Maybe Obama isn’t quite as tech-savvy as he lets on.
2. Maybe the public is guilty of a minor case of schadenfreude
regarding a chief executive who is famous for his self-control and unruffled demeanor.
3. Maybe Obama’s blooper reveals something about the nature of Twitter itself. Is a misstatement of the name of a Web site designed to blast millions of messages a day a big deal, or is it indicative of the abbreviated, grammatically-lax discourse that proliferates on the site and on digital devices in general?
Draw your own conclusions from this traditional definition of twitter, the verb:
- to utter a succession of small, tremulous sounds, as a bird.
- to talk lightly and rapidly, esp. of trivial matters; chatter.
And now, here is the definition of twitterpated: “confused by affection or infatuation.”
Please share your opinion on how this term reflects on President Obama’s remarks, Twitter itself, or even this blog entry, in the comments below.
As a writer, I can think of 2 very plausible explanations for Obama’s ‘Twitters’. The first is that he may have originally planned to type ‘Twitter’s headquarters’, but made a quick decision to reword the phrase. It’s a very common writing error that happens all the time. Second, it may just be a typo. I think this is sufficient cause to rule out conclusion #1.
It was probably just an attempt,(Albeit,a sad and rather failed one,but an attempt none the less)at some humor that our younger public generation would be able to relate to on some level.And now said public is trying to get,as Dictionary.com’s “Hot Word” put it,”schadenfreude”from the extremely minor social faux pas.And while it may be slightly humorous,truly,they just need to let it go…
The following is tweetable (140 chars or less):
Likely he meant to say, “Today we visited Twitter’s headquarters.” It’s not as interesting as your post but, it’s much more like the case.
very interesting blog…
Maybe Obama’s blooper reveals something about the nature of Twitter itself. Is a mistatement of the name of a Web site designed to blast millions of messages a day a big deal, or is it indicative of the abbreviated, grammatically-lax discourse that proliferates on the site and on digital devices in general?
Twitter is a waste of time and doesnt deserve proper spelling anyway – maybe Obama thinks the same
We Must becarefull what we say about Obama, as he is a great man
[...] twitterpated [...]
Obama is a mere man – without God he is nothing.
Janette Summers: I am glad someone else does think that too.
Maybe if He uses the RED comunicator (at the top of the page)and put some more troops into the Middle East. Agree?
First: This is the same “smartest, most educated, brightest, well-spoken, eloquent, blah, blah, blah’, EVER!”
The same one that pronounced Navy corpsman, “corpse-man”! He campaigned in 57 states! Hardly his first gaffe.
Re: To Janette Summers comment: You are typing with ‘tongue-in-cheek’ or are being sarcastic. I certainly hope so! If not, what the hell are you talking about “We MUST be careful . . “? Or what, some goon from the Speech Police will haul me off to an Obama re-education camp!?
to AJS – who are you agreeing with?
Obama is a smart person, but true point, without God, Your nothing!
Same goes for any leader – they will not be able to run a country without God – just look at heathen countries – they are in ruins mostly. eg Zimbabwe, Africa in general, Afganistan, Pakistan, Middle East in general.
Well maybe Obama did make a stuff up but hey you can hardly blame anyone for making the occasional mistake, he is human and he also has a hell of a lot of responsibility as the President of America. I reckon a spelling mistake is the least of his worries!!
Yup. without God he is nothing. But, hey, thats just like the rest of us. Without God we’d be nothing, so in that sense, he is ferpectly normal.
I agree with whoever it was that sed he should put more troops into the middle east. I think all those that disagree should put their thinking caps on the right way and look at the statistics. How many american troops have been killed in battle, and how many civilians could be killed in one moment from the unwelcome act of a terrorist???
To get to the topic, just coz he’s a President doesn’t mean he doesn’t make mistakes!!! To GratefulAl: Mr Perfect, wheres the question mark after the third paragraphs first sentence? (see, you make mistakes too)
Awwww, come on tweeple…he *is* a busy man ;-D
You’re spot on about Zimbabwe being without God. Especially since 60-70% of the country is mainstream Christian…..
Or is that not what you meant?
According to Wikipedia 60- 70% of Zimbabweans belong to mainstream Christian denominations. Though many continue to include indigenous practices and superstitions it is hardly a heathen country.
The same source cites that 76% of Americans identify themselves as Christian.
But this is not the point at all. You are confusing morality with Christianity. These are separate entities. A person can be deeply moral without believing in God.
I think the president is not to blame. He is not tech.savvy or call it a mistake rather than an error:”To err is human, to forgive divine.”
It’s silly that we’re even having this discussion at all, in efforts to rationalize Obama’s gaffe. Get over it! He made a gaffe because he doesn’t use Twitter. What’s wrong with that? Do I fault him for the gaffe? No. Do I find it outrageous that Obama-lovers believe that he is not allowed to make any sort of misstatement (and therefore there must be some explanation that he misspoke, like a typo), since he is the ever-eloquent man who is absolutely and eternally faultless? Absolutely!
I am agreeing with ‘Janette Summers’ for saying: We Must becarefull what we say about Obama, as he is a great man!
“Same goes for any leader – they will not be able to run a country without God – just look at heathen countries”
Yeah, like Sweden, Norway, Finland, …
I have a theory that religion makes people stupid, and the evidence only mounts.
Headquarters of twitter perhaps…
Either way, I think twitter should be thanking it’s lucky stars a man as great as Obama even mentioned the site.
To falter from the original point of this thread a little, Wikipedia should not be quoted as fact. To even deem it a single ’source’ is misguided. People’s reliance on this dubious site is almost as worrying as Twitter’s ability to breed and encourage poor grammar and spelling. I blame Twitter, Facebook, Instant Messaging and Mobile text messaging for the increased number of students that I have to deal with with the inability to structure a proper sentence and spell correctly. What is the world coming to?!
Thnx 4 readin m8s its luvly u cud spare da time!
I think we all forget that it is unlikely Obama is writing these tweets himself… It was probably a staffers gaffe, not Obama’s.
I often struggle with having to teach students to think on their own. “Why should we,” they ask,adding, “when we can “google” just about anything on our cellphones.”
The truth is, the more we (and I include myself here) rely on devices and gadgets to make our life easier, the lazier we become.
By the way, anyone who remembers the Disney movie Bambi has already heard and understood the word twitterpated. The owl remarks at the beginning of Spring when several animals have become lovestruck that “They are all
this is what we used to call a storm in a tea cup.. surely there are bigger issues to debate than this??? Ignorance re: Africa is a source of much laughter here – South Africa
much ado about nothing…
Maybe he meant the headquarters of people who tweet …these are tweetters. Or are they twitters? I think too much tweeting will make a twit out of most!
how dare any body call africa heathen?????????????????
Its funny who people discuss how the president of the most powerful & richest nation on the planet is subjugated by some magic invisible man in the sky….”Obama is nothing without GOD”. Really? Well, ‘GOD’ is nothing without man. After all, it’s man that made him up. Get a grip people, magic jesus isn’t going to save you from this hell. Life is what YOU make it, not what the invisible man in the sky makes it.
This whole string assumes Obama doesn’t understand twitter.
I don’t find his comment to be incompatible with the use of twitter, just surprising and humorous to think of world leaders, political advisors and generals actually using twitter to do their work…
But hey! why not? it’s a kind of transparency, immediacy and brevity that could bring wonders to the way the world functions.
I think this might be a trick question as there is precious little evidence from which to draw an actual conclusion about anything. Guess versus know, conjecture versus conclusion and in the grand scheme, it must be a slow news day
Good post, Catherine. My opinion is also similar to blinkquick’s. When you don’t have a high interest in or regard for something, you alter its name, and if possible you alter it toward a diminutive. A readily example is when an older person says something like “He’s on the playstation,” where someone closer in age and interest wants to be sure to indicate that similar amount of interest and would’ve said “He’s playing Playstation 3, 250 gigabytes.” Notwithstanding how one might feel about Obama more generally, the explanation of his low regard seems more likely than any explanation of how he made a mistake. So the conclusion I’ve drawn is that it reflects more on Twitter than on Obama.
@ sherman, in response to the comment,
‘GOD’ is nothing without man. After all, it’s man that made him up.
Do you seriously believe that? Havn’t you ever looked at the intricacy of creation and realised that it could never have resulted from a “Big Bang”?
God is no fairy tale, believe me.
I hope you find this out for yourslef before it is too late for you.
Who says he’s a great Man! HE IS NOT!!!!!!!! Do you people read the info available about him or what??
1 thing to remember is that ‘Christianity’ is not ‘religiousness’.
So… some people here honestly believe that Obama, a busy CEO, actually does his own tweeting or twitting or face-booking, or whatever??
I am over 50. Twitting, tweeting and face-booking mean nothing to me. I do email, and occasionally post to various useful sites. But if you think that anybody with a real job does their own stuff on these 2 sites… You have too much time on your hands. And an imagination that needs curbing!
Obama, like most others, hires some well paid geek to “do that stuff” for him. The geek might not be a good speller, or compositor. He just knows how to use a computer.
If you think Obi Wan POTUS actually cares or understands this stuff, you are deluded. You may not have heard, but he’s got some stuff that is a tad bit bigger on his plate to chew on. It is called “The Real World”.
As for religion, allow me to quote Frank Herbert (DUNE) “When religion and politics ride in the same cart, you are on your way to destruction.”
Are there any gods? I dunno. Which ones you talking ’bout Willis? In any case, anyone’s religion is of importance only to them. Obama’s is probably of no concern to you, nor is yours of concern to him. No two men have the same deity or religion, anyway. Think about it. It is a first year philosophy 101 question. Before you judge others too much, a dude named Jesus once gave some good advice: He asked you to judge yourself – a very tough job.
(Of course, he was neither the first nor last to give similar advice.)
@ birdies comment re: Obama as “President of America”, just exactly which america are you refering to? South? North? Central? I’m from a little country up in the northern part of North America. We call it Canada. Aint no president nowhere here!
I can’t beleive that you don’t beleive in God.
Without Him you wouldn’t even be here. I just hope for your own sake that you get to know Him before it is too late for you because hell is a real & terrible place.
I suggest you get hold of a Bible if you beleive that man made Him up and read Genesis chapter 2 v 7.
Once again… find Him before it is too late. He truly does love you even if you are a sinner.
Ash, Since we’re on grammar errors here, it is you’re for you are, a contraction. Your is a pronoun as in your kayak, your mama, etc.
“without God, Your nothing!”
One commenting on language might want to at least use the correct word….”Your nothing” should read “you’re nothing”
Maybe he made a deliberate mistake, for the sake of publicity.
The downside is small, as anyone put into a demanding job like that can easily make such a minor mistake.
Or perhaps this is just to distract public comment away from the major blunders that are constantly being allowed to continue. Like why the USA is spending hundreds of billions on military offence and very little on climate defence.
Most of you commenting seem blinded by Mr.”I’m a cool dude” Obama. Don’t you seek truth? You need to listen and watch everyone in power. Evidently you haven’t caught all the lies he continues to tell and the majority of the press omits. Even the NYTimes has begun reporting news stories more accurately. If you were familiar with them, you’d be more balanced in your assessment of Him. He is not Christian. He believes in “collective redempton” not his personal relationship with Christ. Don’t trust me. Look it up. The words came from his mouth. I have it recorded. Many of you need maturity. Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone!
doubt that the One even twittered, as he was probably golfing….
I assumed “twitterpated” was some sort of mental constipation occuring whenever Twitter is opened. Love to learn new words…
Sherman, I could not have said it better myself. In fact I feel the need to quote. “..”Obama is nothing without GOD”. Really? Well, ‘GOD’ is nothing without man. After all, it’s man that made him up. Get a grip people, magic jesus isn’t going to save you from this hell. Life is what YOU make it, not what the invisible man in the sky makes it.”
Really why did we need to bring “God” into this conversation at all? This topic is about an error he made about Twitter.
Just scan through all of these comments (and any and all any and everywhere on the ‘net) by us ‘common folk’ and count the nearly incalculable number of grating errors…
…and we are spending all of our precious, limited time on this planet railing him for a handful of goofs while he’s out there trying his d@mn*$t to see that people can stay in their homes and not die of totally curable diseases for a simple lack of attention to their health, all while fighting over-zealous, undeniably jealous opposition?
While it IS VERY TRUE that having God inside makes the human…
…it’s not what you have, but what you do with it…
…I think it is obvious to see why Obama is president, and we are not.
Setting aside my sustained disapproval of his political conduct and my bemusement at his probably mostly foreign supporters here, I propose the possibility that “Obama” erred rather with punctuation than word form, intending the possessive: the headquarter[s] of Twitter’s. More likely, though, a pluralizing S migrated illegally from the former noun to the latter.